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Watch Colin Stetson’s Cathartic ‘Who the Waves Are Roaring For’ Video

colin stetson, isaac gale, david jensen

Bon Iver saxophonist Colin Stetson kept it in the family for his latest music video, “Who the Waves Are Roaring For.” The Montreal-based mastermind reteamed with videographers Isaac Gale and David Jensen, who not only filmed a series of shorts for Bon Iver in 2011, but who also directed the official clip for Stetson’s own “Among the Sef,” released earlier this year. As Stetson tells it, the newest short was a collaborative effort in the truest sense.

“The vision is entirely Isaac and David’s,” Stetson said to the New York Times T Magazine. “I told them what the song is about — which, in the greater arc of the record, is the inextricable relationship between death and love — and they came up with something that I never would have thought of but still has firm ties to my vision.”

As seen above, the video focuses on a despondent man sitting in his apartment. After glaring at the camera for a few minutes, he suddenly gets up and kicks a hole through the wall, revealing a bizarre, illuminating surprise. Shots of the guy are interspersed with footage of an eagle soaring through a red sky, an idea that Stetson contributed to the piece.

“I saw this eagle when I was in Australia, and I got in my mind that it was the character of the angel of death in the narrative of the record,” he said. “I wanted to cloak it not in the specter of death — the grim reaper, this thing that is feared and that is doomed — but in more of the contemplative version. I wanted to encapsulate it into this beautiful and majestic creature, rather than something dismal and fearful.”

“Who the Waves Are Roaring For,” which features vocals from Bon Iver leader Justin Vernon, appears on Stetson’s Essential new solo album, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light. The experimental sax man is currently touring in support of the LP, find dates below.

Colin Stetson 2013 tour dates: 

June 26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel 
June 27 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater 
June 29 – Honolulu, HI @ Honolulu Museum of Art 
July 28 – Guelph, ON @ Hillside Festival 
August 2 to 4 – Sackville, NB @ SappyFest 
September 3 – Ottawa, ON @ First Baptist Church